TERMS OF SERVICE
Q Christian Fellowship provides this website and its services (including a message board) to offer avenues of support and community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) Christians. By registering an account and/or using the services on this website, you agree to be bound by the following Terms of Service. If you do not agree to these Terms of Service, you should discontinue your use of the website immediately.
While we don’t want to overwhelm you with a bunch of rules or bore you with legalese, we do have to have certain Terms of Service to protect us and our users and to ensure that this space is used for the purposes for which it was intended. Please read these terms of service carefully.
While using our website, users are expected to help us maintain an environment that is safe, Christ-centered, friendly, and supportive of LGBTQ Christians. Any activity which harms or disrupts that environment or which counteracts the stated mission and purposes specified in this section is a violation of these Terms of Service and may result in loss of site access. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Posting illegal, obscene, profane, defamatory, or threatening content via public or private message systems;
- Violating intellectual property rights (such as by posting copyrighted materials);
- Impersonating any individual;
- Using Q Christian Fellowship to seek sexual contacts or make sexual advances toward other users;
- Harassing other users in public or private;
- Violating user privacy (such as by posting private communications or airing details of private disputes);
- Attacking Q Christian Fellowship’s purpose, mission, policies, direction, or belief statements;
- Promoting “ex-gay” or Side X-type ideologies, groups, or organizations publicly or privately (for more on Q Christian’s position on sexuality, visit qchristian.org/faq);
- Attacking, insulting, or speaking harshly to or about other users on the site;
- Sexual content
- Theological and political debates
- Submitting spam or other unsolicited advertisements for goods or services.
Registering an account at Q Christian Fellowship allows you to access additional features and services through our website. These accounts are provided without warranty or representation from us and may be revoked at any time at our sole discretion. Users are limited to one account per person and must provide their true birthdate at the time of registration. Registering multiple accounts, sharing accounts, falsifying birthdate information, or allowing banned users to access the site through your account are strictly forbidden and may result in permanent suspension of site access.
By submitting content (such as photos, text, or files) via our website, you grant Q Christian Fellowship a worldwide, perpetual, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, transmit, publish, or create derivative works of any such content, for any purpose, including commercial purposes, without payment to you, in any type of media or in any form now known or later developed. In addition, you automatically waive and give up any claim that any use of such content violates any of your rights, including privacy rights, publicity rights, moral rights, or any other right including the right to approve the way we use such content. We may move, edit, or remove any content you post, without your permission, at the sole discretion of the moderating team.
CHILDREN’S USE OF THIS SITE
In accordance with the United States Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Q Christian Fellowship does not accept registrations from children under the age of 13. However, because many of the issues we deal with are relevant to teenagers, we do allow registrations from minors who are at least 13 years of age. We strongly recommend that parents supervise their children’s use of our website as with any similar website. Adult users should conduct themselves at all times on our website in a manner that is both legal and appropriate in the presence of minors and should report any concerns immediately to our Community Manager or Board of Directors.
REPORTING INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT
If you see inappropriate content on our site, please click the “report” button to report it to the moderating team. This button is NOT for content you simply disagree with; it’s for content that violates these rules.
Some topics can raise strong disagreement between community members and may require an extra-sensitive approach. For this reason, an opt-in “Sensitive Subjects” forum is available for members willing to be even more careful, gentle, and nuanced than usual when discussing these subjects. Posts related to sex, theological disagreements, and other potentially controversial topics should be placed here.
Please remember that the Sensitive Subjects forum is NOT for debates. It is NOT an “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” forum. It is the opposite: a space for posters looking for sensitive, thoughtful, and nuanced discussions of difficult issues. Individuals unwilling or unable to abide by this code may be banned from the Sensitive Subjects forum.
Those looking for places to debate theological (or other) issues should see the “theological disagreements” section below.
Under certain circumstances, a single user MAY have multiple accounts, but there are restrictions on how they may be used.
You may NOT use multiple accounts to:
- circumvent a ban or other penalty against you
- stalk, spy on, harass, annoy, prank, or intimidate any other user
- “like” or vote for your own posts, agree/disagree with yourself, or create a fake person to publicly respond to or otherwise engage with your posts
- join groups you wouldn’t normally have access to (such as creating a fake account with a different age to gain access to a different age-related group)
- Anyone found to be using multiple accounts in any of these ways may have all their accounts permanently banned.
You MAY use multiple accounts to:
- “start over” if you no longer have access to your previous account or no longer wish to be identified with it (provided that account is not currently banned from the community)
- create an anonymous account, not linked to your primary one, to discuss personal or confidential information (e.g. if you want to share a personal story about a family member but want to do so anonymously to protect their privacy)
- join groups that do apply to you but which you don’t want to link to your primary account (e.g., if you are HIV+ and wish to join a forum for HIV+ members but don’t wish to do that under your primary account)
The Online Community is meant to be a safe and family-friendly space, so profanity and other language likely to be offensive are not permitted. Partially censoring a word with one or two asterisks (like th*s) is not enough to get around this rule.
Content meant primarily for sexual attention or erotic purposes is not permitted. General guidelines about sexual content to keep in mind:
- Images (of yourself or others) that are suggestive, revealing, or otherwise designed to get sexual attention are not allowed. You can post your hot beach bod on Facebook, but it’s probably not a good idea here.
- Any content, including text, intended to be titillating is not permitted.
- Discussion of topics related to sex is allowed, but it should be kept to the Sensitive Subjects forum, treated respectfully and tactfully, and avoid avoid details of sexual “mechanics.”
- If there’s doubt about whether particular content falls under this rule, err on the side of caution. Remember: This is a space for people of all ages, some of whom may be coming from backgrounds more conservative than yours. We want everyone to feel welcome here.
LINKS AND PERSONAL CONTACT INFORMATION
Please do not post private contact information, such as email addresses, phone numbers, or physical addresses.
We do allow the posting of links to blogs, social media profiles, etc., but we ask that all community members use good judgment in linking materials that might allow other website visitors to contact them outside of this online community.
Links to content that is otherwise forbidden by these rules are also forbidden. (One exception: Relevant articles may be linked even if they contain some profanity, provided it is not excessive.)
PRIVATE MESSAGING AND SAFETY
We have a private messaging feature to allow conversations between users. We respect your privacy and do not routinely monitor these messages, but as they are not encrypted, we cannot guarantee freedom from observation in transit, so please use good judgment in what you choose to share.
We have no way to verify the identities of all the people who use our website, so please be careful when exchanging private messages with someone you don’t know. Be very careful before agreeing to meet someone in person or providing them with personal contact details. If someone asks you to send money, makes unwanted sexual advances, or acts in any other way that concerns you, please contact a member of our staff or moderating team immediately.
As this is an ecumenical community, there will be many areas in which members disagree on doctrine—some of these may be very big, important disagreements.
Within this space, we have agreed to disagree. This means that you are free to say what you believe and explain why you believe it. You are also free to respectfully ask others about their views. This is NOT an appropriate place, however, to try to debate those areas of disagreement or push other community members to change their views, even if you believe their views are very wrong.
If you wish to debate an issue in more depth, you have several options. You could ask other individuals to join you in a private message for the debate; you could invite people to a space outside of the Q Christian Fellowship community—such as a Facebook group or blog—for the debate; or you could (in rare cases) request that a special forum be created on this site that allows for the debate to take place.
Except where otherwise noted, debates are not allowed in our forums. If debates or arguments break out in non-debate forums, the discussion may be locked or removed by the moderating team without warning, and repeat offenders’ accounts may be banned.
Given the inflammatory nature of political news at this time, we currently ask that community members not post content related to partisan politics, particularly in cases where it may prove controversial.
We do allow conversation around relevant issues to our community, even where it touches on political questions, provided that the discussion is not inflammatory or partisan. In those cases, please keep in mind:
- Especially when speaking about hot-button issues, users should speak with Christlike graciousness.
- Discuss ideas and concepts—not political parties, other users, or individual candidates.
- Disagreement is permitted (we are a diverse community after all) but attacking an individual user for their ideas is not.
- Healthy discussion is often built on sharing stories of how users came to their convictions.
- The ultimate goal of political threads should be that users come to understand one another—not necessarily agree with one another.
POT-STIRRING AND ATTENTION-SEEKING
Many hurting people use this website, and some may at times act in inappropriate ways. If you see posts that seem to be designed to “troll” or stir up emotion (such as a user posting intentionally controversial things to get a reaction), or posts designed to create drama and get attention (such as a user posting a dramatic “goodbye” post about leaving the community—only to dramatically return a week later), please report these posts to the moderating team and don’t take the bait.
And please, don’t be that person.
We take threats of self-harm very seriously. If you see anyone on the site threatening to hurt themselves, please:
- Alert a moderator immediately.
- Encourage the poster to call/see their therapist ASAP if they already have one.
- Offer your own prayers and support via posts and private messages. (Yes, this may at times reward attention-seeking behavior, but in this case, we believe it’s vital that those who are truly depressed not feel alone.)
- Do not offer your own independent diagnosis or counseling (either psychological or biblical). Instead, report these posts to the moderators immediately so appropriate steps can be taken. You are welcome to let a moderator know if you are professionally trained in these situations, though.
- If a poster has shared the diagnosis of their trusted and certified professional, do not openly contradict this diagnosis.
- Encourage the user to seek professional advice from sources such as the following:
Confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland (Not LGBTQ-specific)
Phone: 08457 90 90 90 (in the UK and Northern Ireland)
Phone: 1850 60 90 90 (in the Republic of Ireland)
USA: The Trevor Project
Crisis and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
Phone: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)
USA: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Phone: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Canada (for children & youth): Kids Help Phone (Not LGBTQ-specific)
Worldwide: Befrienders Worldwide
Finding a Therapist
IF YOUR CONTENT HAS BEEN MODERATED
Okay, so you broke a rule (we know you probably didn’t mean to) and a moderator moved, edited, or removed something you wrote. Oops! Or maybe you didn’t break a rule at all (at least you sure don’t think so) and the moderator was mistaken. Either way, we hope this can be addressed with grace and understanding on all sides.
Our moderating team is made of people just like you who have volunteered to help keep this space safe and welcoming for all. No one wants to be told they did something wrong, but if that happened to you, we really hope your interaction with the moderator was as pleasant as it could possibly be under the circumstances.
Everyone makes mistakes, though, so if you disagree with the moderator, we encourage you to calmly and graciously explain the situation and talk it out. Hopefully the two of you can come to a decision you can both agree on.
If not, you can appeal the decision by contacting our staff and explaining the situation. We’ll work hard to make sure things get resolved. We’ve been on the receiving end of website moderation too, so we understand it can be frustrating, and we want you to know that we do care.
Please don’t express your frustration with the volunteer moderators by posting things in public to blast their decisions or attack them personally. They’re just volunteers trying to do their best, and they have a tough enough job as it is. Contact our staff, and we’ll work together to find a solution. Thanks for understanding!